“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
I have been naive, many times. Spiritual battle – what spiritual battle?!
But we are instructed to be on guard. To be mindful that the enemy of our souls roams. Obsessing over Satan isn’t productive – but as followers of Christ it pays to be savvy and aware, lest we be caught unawares.
Charles Baudelaire said: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist.”
When we are ‘in the dark’, spiritually speaking, we are not in a stance of active resistance. But we are told to resist. We are told to stand firm in our faith, putting on the full armour of God…
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)
We are far from alone in this battle. And Jesus has already won it, through his resurrection from the dead. Satan is but a toothless lion until Jesus returns once and for all. He can scare, but Jesus has the final authority. Resist the devil because he must flee. And don’t ever give him more credit than he deserves.